Incontinence in Middle-Aged Women: A Scorecard

This piece has been medically reviewed by Aleece Fosnight, MPAS, PA-C, CSC-S, CSE, NCMP, IF, Medical Advisor to Aeroflow Urology.

Aeroflow Urology surveyed hundreds of middle-aged women across the United States to learn how incontinence affects their daily lives, as well as the stigma around incontinence and barriers to treatment.

The results were staggering. An overwhelming 72% of the women polled have experienced incontinence, which includes bladder leakage as well as a total loss of bladder control. The results also indicated a clear lack of education and available resources to women as they navigate these changes to their body without help or direction from their healthcare provider.

These results help paint the picture of why issues like bladder leakage and bladder control for women should be top of mind for healthcare providers and must be normalized in conversation. This study confirms what we already suspected: social stigma and a lack of education about incontinence stand in the way of treatment. Breaking down those barriers is an important step in preventative treatment and normalizing incontinence. Without proper treatment, incontinence can evolve into larger health issues such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney failure, and depression. Incontinence, and incontinence treatment, can even impact life circumstances like personal finance.

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Date of Birth

The Scorecard

Prevalence

  • Incontinence is very common among women aged 40-64, with 72% having experienced it and 74% of women first experiencing incontinence between those same ages.
  • 65% say they experience bladder leakage at least once a month and for 25% of women, it is a daily occurrence.

Stigma 

  • 52% have tried to hide loss of bladder control after experiencing it in public, while another 42% are embarrassed to discuss it with family or friends, suggesting the presence of a strong stigma.
  • For 53% of women, incontinence affects their daily lives and activities, including work, career, education, ability to exercise, ability to run errands, and even their ability to attend social gatherings.

Barriers to treatment and education

  • 56% did not visit a doctor after experiencing loss of bladder control, and 37% said they did not seek treatment because they did not think it was a big deal, illustrating a lack of education on incontinence.

Additional Resources

What No One Tells Women About Middle Age

As prevalent as bladder leakage is in midlife, women often suffer in silence. While women will openly talk about mood swings and hot flashes, incontinence is often a taboo topic that is left unspoken.

Why Urinary Incontinence in Women Is on the Rise

Even though urinary incontinence is extremely prevalent and currently affects over 13 million Americans, it’s actually incredibly more common in aging women. 

5 Tips to Boost Your Bladder Health

It may not be surprising to know that women are prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) and incontinence. Women are 30 times more likely to develop a UTI over their male counterparts. 

Disclaimer: Using a third-party survey administrator, Aeroflow Urology polled 1,010 women between the ages of 40 and 64 in the U.S.


Dr. Aleece Fosnight

Aleece Fosnight, MSPAS, PA-C, CSC-S, CSE, NCMP, IF is a Medical Advisor and Writer for Aeroflow Urology and a board-certified physician assistant specializing in sexual medicine, women’s health, and urology. In 2019, she opened up her own private practice, the Fosnight Center for Sexual Health, and implemented the sexual health grand rounds curriculum at her local hospital and residency program.

Aleece is also the founder of the Fosnight Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and training of professionals in the sexual health field and providing funding for access to healthcare services in her local community.


Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care from a healthcare professional. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.

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